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Is Chick-fil-A Bad For You?



Short answer

It would be an unhealthy choice to dine at Chick-Fil-A on a regular basis. In addition to being high in fat and sodium content, the food here is highly processed – a veritable minefield of preservatives and additives.



Long answer

With a reputation for having an attentive and enthusiastic frontline staff, Chick-Fil-A is the type of restaurant people love to patronize. Increasing profits show a commitment to what they have to offer, despite recent negative attention paid to the Conservative Christian values which are tightly woven into the fabric of this organization. The first Chick-Fil-A opened its doors in 1967, and it has since grown to include close to 2000 restaurants.

Chick-Fil-A’s slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” unquestionably promotes the health benefits of chicken over red meat, and recently they have been flying on the coattails of a public announcement that will stop using chickens raised with the help of antibiotics.  Despite this, the chicken sandwich which this fast food chain claims to have invented is without a doubt the unhealthiest item on the menu. Both chicken and bun are over-processed and contain a long list of ingredients.  In addition to the usual suspects – MSG, sodium, saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup, they are loaded with preservatives and additives to make the meal more attractive, as well as giving it a longer shelf life. Buns contain Azodicarbonamide – the yoga mat rubber which Subway came under fire for using as a dough softener, and food coloring appears among the list of chicken coating ingredients.

Skipping the bread and opting for grilled chicken will not save you – sugar, salt, maltodextrin, modified food starches and artificial flavorings and colorings are all encountered here.  The waffle fries should be avoided at all costs – not only will they net you 520 calories, they contain color retention and anti-foaming agents, as well as chemical preservatives.

As with most fast food restaurants, a nutritional breakdown of menu items is available for Chick-Fil-A. Accessing this will keep you blissfully unaware of additives and preservatives, but occasional diners should use it to select something low in calories, fat, and sodium, while providing a sufficient supply of protein to suppress appetite until the next mealtime. Several menu items at Chick-Fil-A meet this mark.  A Grilled Market Salad is your best bet. It contains both fruit and vegetables and weighs in at 200 calories with 23 grams of protein, and only 5 grams of fat. Chicken nuggets contain 19 grams of fat but will keep you just under 400 calories while providing a full 40 grams of protein.

Possible short-term side effects

  • water-retention
  • dehydration
  • lethargy
  • headache

Possible long-term side effects

  • obesity
  • cancer
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • heart and kidney disease
  • stroke
  • high blood pressure

Ingredients to be aware of

Big is chick fil a bad for you 2

Healthier alternatives

  • in n out

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Written by Healthy Living 35 | 02-19-2016

Written by Healthy Living 35
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